Developer Bid to Woo Hard Hats Includes Free Haircuts, Massages


(Bloomberg) -- For one New York developer, the road to construction workers’ happiness is paved with free massages.

They’re part of a slate of wellness amenities that Tishman Speyer, the firm that helped build Yankee Stadium and owns properties across the world, is offering at a project that’s under construction in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards area.

With the labor market tight in New York as new office projects flood the city, Tishman is giving construction workers some of the same perks it provides tenants through an online platform dubbed Zo, including haircuts and fitness classes.

Developer Bid to Woo Hard Hats Includes Free Haircuts, Massages

“The construction workers who make our projects come alive are very important stakeholders to us,” Chief Executive Officer Rob Speyer said in an interview. “If we can help make the work site healthier and happier and more productive, it’s good for them and it’s good for us.”

The company is testing the app for construction workers at The Spiral, a 65-story office tower that will count Pfizer Inc. and AllianceBernstein Holding LP among its tenants. Zo started in 2017 for office tenants at Rockefeller Center and has since spread to about 35 other Tishman properties in the U.S. and Europe.

Developer Bid to Woo Hard Hats Includes Free Haircuts, Massages

At the Spiral, more than 400 workers have signed up for the program, which may be expanded to other projects, Tishman said.

On Tuesday, a handful of workers were getting haircuts inside a trailer at the site, a quiet respite from roaring machines and clanking metal outside. The program has taken some getting used to, but workers are warming up to it, said Carl Haase, an emergency medical technician stationed at The Spiral who dropped in for a trim.

Every morning, there’s a “stretch-and-flex” exercise to get workers ready for the day, and a few dozen have joined a fitness challenge that awards prizes to those who can lose the most weight. One guy has dropped 18 pounds in three weeks, Haase said.

“The guys are a happier bunch,” he said. “I hope it changes the way construction sites work.”

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